I had my first job in fashion at 11 years old. My father took me out of school and I started work in a clothes factory. I was left to teach myself. I'd work late into the night and study on the side. I got my high school certificate and taught myself all the different skills in the factory at the same time - from sewing to computer design to pattern cutting. Though it was hard, I loved it. It’s amazing to see something in a store that I've worked on. Or seeing someone wearing my clothes – that's success for me.
Years later, I saved up by myself to come to the UK. I started my own business doing styling and pattern cutting for other companies. But things fell apart when my partner came to live with me. It was meant to be temporary – just two weeks he said. But those two weeks kept growing and growing while his behaviour only got worse. Over the next seven months he used all my money. I have never heard so much lies and dishonesty. My business fell apart and my health got worse. I was scared to stay in my own home. I tried to get him out but in the end I had to escape to survive.
I came to live in a women’s refuge. I'd lost my home, my health, my work, and my friends. Now I want to build myself back up and become stronger and more successful than before. Though I've got lots of experience I have no qualifications. This course will help me improve my skills, learn new techniques and get my confidence back. To think that people will read this story and donate is a huge motivation. I haven’t had a lot of support in my life, even from my family. So it’s incredible to think of that coming from strangers. I won’t let you down.
Due to the member's personal history, we've kept this profile anonymous by using a pseudonym.